Show us your natural shelters.

  • Hey Guest, We've had to cancel our 2020 Summer BushMoot PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information.

porkpie

New Member
Feb 10, 2008
2
0
48
Edinburgh
hi i'm very impressed with some of your shelters and can see a lot of time has went inti them.When i'm in the woods i try and use ant material i find,thats the way to go abut it.
 

Nagual

Native
Jun 5, 2007
1,963
0
Argyll
hi i'm very impressed with some of your shelters and can see a lot of time has went inti them.When i'm in the woods i try and use ant material i find,thats the way to go abut it.

I'm going to guess the shelters are really tiny if you're using ant materials... :lmao: Sorry couldn't resist...
 

Greg

Full Member
Jul 16, 2006
3,529
34
Pembrokeshire
Thanks for all your photos guys, I can't believe this thread is still going, keep it up!:)

Here is another one in the process of being finished!
 

sandbender

Mod
Mod
Nov 29, 2004
7,808
7
Scotland
Some images from September 2007, I (with three others) built a group shelter and lived in it for four days.

First image shows the uprights in place...



The second, shows the ridge poles tied into place and a brew on the go...



Third image shows the supports in place and ready for the insulation, we used moss from ground level to about a meter in height and then covered the whole thing with an arms depth of ferns.



Home Sweet Home



On the day of departure it took about three hours to clear everything away, much of the time being taken up with digging out and drenching the ground under the fire.



Thanks to Ian, Matt and Christine for a great week :)
 

Stuart

Full Member
Sep 12, 2003
4,141
43
**********************
Great Thread!

Here are some of my favourites

This three sided lean-to built in on the woodsmoke site in the lake district for four people is probably the largest natural shelter I've been involved in building, we got a little carried away with the dimensions!:







A lean-to + long log fire combination I built in Alberta, in which I successfully spent my first night out at -20C without a sleeping bag:





A Jungle pole bed shelter design that I am fond of using, its the result of some experimentation I did with making simple rattan beds, inspired by a much more complex Iban design for a rattan hammock:



here is the detail of the rattan structure, I normally covered it with a deep layer of palm leaves to make a it more comfortable, but here its removed here so you can see how it works, the poles are not lashed to the A frame, the weight keeps them in place and pulls the mattress tight:



A wikiup I helped build in Botswana with the Naro Bushmen (or perhaps more correctly the women, wikiups are womens work)



my first Quinzee in Canada:






and finally my all time favourite to date, my first Iglu, built under the guidance of Mors, without whose assistance it would almost certainly have been a complete failure!











 

sandbender

Mod
Mod
Nov 29, 2004
7,808
7
Scotland
Stuart, that is a fantastic photo of the iglu at night :)

In terms of effort which was the harder to put up, the quinzee and the iglu? And which gave you the best nights sleep?
 

Stuart

Full Member
Sep 12, 2003
4,141
43
**********************
Stuart, that is a fantastic photo of the iglu at night :)

In terms of effort which was the harder to put up, the quinzee and the iglu?
I would say that this depends on your level of experience with constructing Iglu’s.

If you are practiced at building iglu’s :
Then the Iglu wins hands down as a snow shelter, it requires much less physical effort and materials to make and as you can see from the pictures of me standing on it (also jumping up and down on it) its rock solid.

The difficult thing with Iglu’s is finding the right type of snow, knowing where to look for it and how to identify it from a distance, the good stuff is like polystyrene

If your not practiced at Iglu building and you are in need of shelter:
Go for the Quinzee, its not so fussy about the type of snow required and is very easy to construct. it will require quite a bit more time and effort though as you essentially pile up a great deal of snow, wait for it to go hard, and dig 75% of it back out again! That said it will still be less work than the iglu if your inexperienced, as you'll end up building the iglu 6 or 7 times before you have something that stands without you holding it up from inside and you'll spend the night shivering in the drafts coming though the gaps in your poor masonry, it will really test your temper!

I didn’t have sufficient experience to build an iglu quickly and efficiently without supervision and advice from somone like Mors who knows what he's doing, but with his mentoring it went together like lego bricks and was very satisfying to build.


And which gave you the best nights sleep?
They are the same inside really, the iglu is drier inside, it doesn’t seem to drip or hoarfrost as much as the quinzee. I actually slept better in the quinzees, but that was only because I was so excited about having built an iglu and so impressed with the ingenious design that I spent most of the night staring up at the spiral blocks of ceiling in wonder, it’s like admiring a vaulted cathedral ceiling.

Iglus are mysteriously larger on the inside than they appear from outside, in this picture, the blocks you can see though the entrance are actually the front of the sleeping bench, which divides the internal floor space in half, not the blocks of the rear wall.



The sleeping bench:
 

Gailainne

Full Member
I just got back from the winter WEISS course in northern Sweden, the group tried a few different methods of snow shelter construction, including Quinze, Igloo and snow hole.

Snow conditions were'nt ideal and we partially completed both a quinze and an igloo, enough to get the basic construction methods.

We did however with 2 teams of 4 complete 2 snow holes, one utilising skis and the other branches..both worked out very well, and were slept in..much warmer than the tents we were in, and a LOT quieter, there was a very nasty storm brewing, which would have tested the snowholes, but it fizzled out, seriously disappointed about that.

The snowholes got warm enough inside to start melting the snow, each low point dripping water, not life threating, but a pain to dry out the next day..which luckly was blue sky all day. Something to be considered tho.


Link to some of the photos

Regards

Stephen
 

sandbender

Mod
Mod
Nov 29, 2004
7,808
7
Scotland
Thanks for the explanation stuart, can you talk more about the conditions needed for the right kind of snow for an iglu? was it related to latitude, or more the local topography (lee of a hill etc.)

I have built and slept in a quinzee, which I found to be surprisingly comfy, although the steady lowering of the ceiling through the night was a bit disquieting. :)


Tindra the dog liked it too :)

I checked out your gallery Gailainne, looks like you had a great time :)
 

Stuart

Full Member
Sep 12, 2003
4,141
43
**********************
BOD said:
Ignorant question but here goes:

All the igloos I've seen in my picture book, film, TV and my have neat rounded access tunnels but yours has a pointy apex.

Any reason or just builders creativity?
I'm not certain, though I suspect snowfall has a lot to do with it.

look at the difference between the iglu the first day it was built, the night shot for example, and a couple of days later when I'm standing on top of it.

The difference is one night of light snow fall, which changed the shape of the exterior from a multifaceted surface to a smooth round dome.

This snowfall has the effect of changing the outer surface of the entrance tunnel from a roofed apex to a rounded half pipe as the snow collects, the interior is smoothed off by repeatedly crawling in and out of it, the back of the crawling occupant gently eroding and polishing the interior surface and thus rounding it off.

That would be my explanation anyway, I see no reason why you would build a rounded tunnel to begin with, it would require an additional roofing block for each block in length, it would be less stable and there would be no benefit to the design.

On a slightly different but related subject, Mors and myself did some research on the concept of putting an 'air hole' in the roof of quinzees as described in the majority of 'survival manuals', our reasoning being that the Inuit didn’t normally have 'air holes' in the roof of their iglus because ample fresh came in though the doorway which was traditionally left open and a 'air hole' in the roof would just let the bubble of warm air near the roof escape though it, defeating the whole object of the domed shelter with a low entrance and a high sleeping platform; So it seems nonsensical to have an air hole in the roof of a quinzee which works on the same principle.

We concluded that provided you didn’t block up the doorway, which you shouldn’t do in a quinzee with a raised sleeping platform anyway, there was more than enough air circulation to remove carbon dioxide and an 'air hole' in the roof was counter productive, it just provided a hole for the warm air to escape and contrary to what many poorly researched manuals might suggest carbon dioxide does not 'rise to the roof and exit though the hole' anyway!

Air holes should therefore probably just be left to 'snow holes' in which it is common practice to bock up the entrance to reduce draft.
 

Gray

Full Member
Sep 18, 2008
2,085
7
Scouser living in Salford South UK
Some of these shelters look great guys but must have taken a long time to erect, too long, dont you think. OK if your going to live in them for a while i suppose. Maybe its just me, too used to the term improvised shelter